Is there a better sci-fi, action film series than the Terminator movies? And, just to be clear, when I talk about the Terminator series, I’m only really talking about the first two films…because they’re masterpieces of modern filmmaking and NOT attempts by Hollywood execs to squeeze every cent they possibly can from a franchise by making THREE sequels that NOBODY asked for.
Why are the Terminator films (part one and part two) so darned amazing? Well, they pack in all of the action you can possibly handle while also making you contemplate and answer some very difficult questions about what it means to be human, the ethical issues that come with scientific advancement, and the lengths that we can – and should go – to protect mankind and the people we love.
And if all of that is far too deep for you to process – you can just enjoy raging car chases, the (former) Governator speaking Spanish and visual effects that were pretty awesome for the 80s and 90s. I mean, how incredible is this?
So, why am I talking about Terminator in our weekly insurance technology roundup? Well, because – much like the plot of the Terminator franchise – this week’s insurance news articles are all about technology that’s getting increasingly intelligent. These are new innovations that are becoming incredibly smart and somewhat invasive, allowing insurance companies to become more automated, more profitable, more efficient and more effective.
Are they good for the insurance industry? Are they good for mankind? Will they become self-aware and run amok – ending human life on our planet as we know it and forcing us to send insurance adjusters back in time to warn previous generations and ensure that humanity’s only hope for survival is born and makes it to adulthood?
I mean…the chances of that are pretty slim. Right?
Eh…it’s probably better not to think about it and just enjoy the benefits and occasional car chases. Here are this week’s articles:
Do you text and drive? Your car insurance may go up
You can file the technology in this article from CNN in the “invasive” category – but that doesn’t make it any less interesting or useful for insurers.
According to this article, insurance provider, Arity, an Allstate company, is embracing a new mobile phone app that utilizes customer smartphone sensors –namely the accelerometer and gyroscope – to determine if policy holders are using their smartphones while driving.
Since distracted driving due to smartphone use is an increasingly pervasive and dangerous habit, and distracted drivers cost insurers 160 percent more than non-distracted drivers (as per Allstate claims data), Arity can then utilize the data about a policy holder’s driving habits and behaviors to more accurately price their policies. This is considered a better, more informed indicator of someone’s risk than traditional methods – which looked at customer statistics such as credit scores – to assess risk.
If drivers utilizing Arity’s app can get from “Point A” to “Point B” without texting Brenda about the hot date they had last night, they could possibly qualify for a discount on their premiums. However, if a policy holder can’t help but drive while swiping left on Tinder, they could find themselves paying more.
Ultimately, the company feels that this technology could be helpful in not only assessing risk, but in also training people to avoid risky behaviors. As Gary Hallgren, the CEO of Arity, told CNN, “We believe that people are coachable and that by driving less aggressively, using the phone less, there are opportunities to not only give a more accurate insurance price based on choices, but to give drivers more control.”
I get you, Gary. But this still seems a little “Big Brother-ish” to me. But hey, if it keeps some Millennial from side-swiping me on the Beltway while Instagramming their cat…I could get behind it!
Insurance can ‘follow blueprints’ for its digital quest
This is a really interesting article from Insurance Business America dealing with digital transformation in the insurance industry.
According to the article – and based on many of the discussions that we’ve had with insurance industry and technology executives on the Insurance Technology Insider – this is a very interesting time in the insurance industry.
Insurance – which is known for being somewhat conservative and rather slow-moving when it comes to adopting new technologies – is starting to rapidly accelerate the rate in which it embraces innovation. The result has been an aggressively expanded ecosystem of insurtech startups, each eager to help the insurance industry embrace hot new technologies – from AI, to IoT – to operate more effectively and efficiently.
This digital transformation of the industry includes the harvesting of IoT data to help insurance companies make data-driven decisions that used to be very manual and slow in a much more automated and rapid fashion. The use of artificial intelligence and data mining to expedite decision making is not new. In fact, it’s been recently used in the financial services and other similarly conservative, highly-regulated industries, for much the same purpose.
It’s these examples – especially financial services – that the author suggests utilizing as a blueprint for the insurance industry to help make the transition and evolution more seamless. And that strikes this insurance reporter as an excellent idea.
It’s always better to have a map to guide your way to a new destination. Luckily for insurance, other, similar industries have acted as a personal “Lewis and Clark,” charting the path that lays before them. Now it’s up to the insurers to move forward and blaze a new path where the unique challenges and considerations of their industry demand it.